UFC 193 was truly a spectacle for all eyes and ears as the bantam weight title was on the line. Ronda Rousey was unsuccessful in her title defense against her opponent, Holly Holm. Holly not only took the UFC world by storm, but she left Sports Booking agencies in the dust having to reconsider their odds and prediction mechanisms.
When defining odds for a certain event like a UFC match, there are many factors that go into an algorithm that is precisely created by booking agencies. Much like the odds for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, these odds heavily favored the former champion Rousey. When betters take into consideration the odds they are going against, it makes sense to throw a small fortune down on an underdog, especially in a sport that is quite unpredictable like the UFC. This title match left plenty unpredictability as both fighters had fought professionally for the UFC for only a short matter of time, with the women’s division still being in it’s infancy in the sport itself. Both fighters had fewer than 12 fights going into the match, which leads skeptics to approach their betting styles in a different way.
It really wasn’t a matter of when Rousey would take a loss, rather to who it came at the hands of. Holm was the successor, and those taking the odds on Holm cashed in big time on the flyer bet that would leave booking agencies at a major loss. Not only would they take this loss, but they would have to reevaluate their strategies for odds making weeks before the fights and in the moments leading up to them. Odds change all of the time in the hours before a fight, they may sway heavier than they did previously or become weaker as the time approaches. Those methods with remain undisclosed and receive no attention from agencies as they have their own reasoning for why this occurs.
The doors have now become open for bettors, leaving the agencies at a standstill. Expect to see patterns of people placing bets on underdogs in the Sport of UFC as time goes on. The unpredictability of the sport gains the intrigue of many bettors and gamblers. It really isn’t comparable to boxing where it has historically been more able to regulate and have a precision to it that allow agencies to stay afloat and make a decent revenue off of. The UFC will continue to puzzle these agencies as these fighters come from backgrounds that have had them tested before in other aspects of the sport. With fighters having multiple backgrounds in martial arts and other such fighting techniques and styles, a simple search by a bettor can produce some insight into how a fight may be controlled. Now that’s not to say these agencies don’t have that same viewing power and insight, but there odds are more heavily favored towards the favorite on paper each time, because without doing so, they would tank more easily.
Expect to see heavier regulations from agencies as to how they set their odds. The odds may shift to being closer to having to bet much more to have a decent outcome as a bettor and rightfully so with this growing sport. The UFC and betting agencies might not have that friendly of a relationship going forward and it will be interesting to take not of the changes made for how odds are allocated going forward.